Tuesday, March 27, 2007
My fiction and sports writing are typically intended for separate audiences. Since I have a passion both for sports and for the telling of stories, I have found opportunity to merge them on occasion. In the past I have incorporated my enthusiasm and appreciation for basketball and boxing as major themes in short stories. I've touched upon football and baseball in my prose as well. Each of these are sports that I'm far more likely to be found watching on television than performing as an active participant. It has been a while since I last played baseball/softball, or a game of pick-up basketball, or a game of two hand touch football. Although I have been intrigued by white collar boxing for quite some time, to date I have yet to lace up gloves and go toe to toe with anyone in the ring. For my fortieth birthday I decided to give a new sport a try, wall climbing. Circumstances forced this opportunity to be delayed, but eventually I'll find myself imitating Spiderman. I've been told it can be quite addictive and do not doubt that this is so. Yet I strongly doubt that it will supplant my strongest sports passion, a game that I enjoy watching but would much rather be out doing for myself - tennis. Now that Spring is upon us, the days are lenghtening and temperatures climbing, I hope to be out on the court again on a regular basis soon. In the meantime, I happen to be writing a short story that focuses on a tennis match. A potential paying market for it has already been found, so hopefully it will be published in the near future. Stay tuned. Who knows? Perhaps I can do for tennis what Ernest Hemingway did for bull fighting. Two of my idols are pictured above. Hemingway's succinct pen strokes were brilliantly effective in telling his stories, much as Roger Federer's mastery with a tennis racquet puts him multiple levels beyond the reach of his peers. I took up the sport of tennis far too late to ever dare dream of elite status. Yet I stubbornly persist in trying to become as good and consistent a player as possible. My daughter Ava will be swatting at tennis balls as soon as I can find a racquet small enough for her to negotiate. She has already mastered the Serena Williams grunt and fist pump. As for writing with the skill of Mr. Hemingway, I haven't quite given up on that dream yet. Unlike tennis and sports in general, turning 40 does not place me well beyond my physical prime and incapable of progressing to top ten territory. When it comes to writing I'd like to think that I'm just beginning to hit my stride, with plenty of literary aces left to serve.
- Roy L. Pickering Jr.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
It has been proven beyond the shadow of doubt, at least to me, that women are way tougher & stronger than men. Throw biceps and triceps and bench press poundages out the window, because they mean next to nothing when it comes to monitoring true strength. I was given enough evidence of the superioriy of women when my daughter Ava was going through her colicky period. More often than not she would reach my breaking point as she cried uncontrollably and refused the sweet mercy of slumber. Inevitably the strain would grow too much for me to bear and I would be forced to make a hand-off. But Erin never faltered in such moments. The fact that she was able to slug through months of sleep deprivation and continue responding to Ava's call to arms provided yet more proof. Night after night my body stubbornly refused to give up its stranglehold on our bed at some ungodly hour as our daughter summoned through her baby monitor. Erin has always been able to patiently and lovingly respond. Yet in spite of all this, I still probably would have said if asked that men are inherently stronger than women, up until today when I stumbled upon a sports article online. It informed me that - [Five hours after giving birth to her first child, coach Carol Russell was back on the bench and encouraging her players in the North Central Region basketball tournament]. This would have to rank as the greatest motivational ploy of all time. Talk about not allowing your players any excuses to loaf on defense. The fairer sex continues to astound me. Who knows what wonders Ava will have in store for us in the years to come. She is baby girl, eventually to be woman, hear her roar.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
"Tiger Emerging" (as seen in my original post) is officially listed for sale on eBay as of today. The latest hurdle has been cleared! Each small step feels like a huge accomplishment. It's amazing what I can do when Ava naps. If you get a chance, stop by and take a peak.
Tiger Emerging at ebay